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Frank Zappa - Joe's Garage, Acts II & III CD (album) cover


Frank Zappa



3.96 | 379 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album gets a three star rating for the same reason that Act I does: you need the compilation of all three acts together for the true experience of this story.

On its own, Acts II & III is a pretty good Zappa album, beginning with some very odd tunes and then exploding into full-blown progressive songs the like of which still remind me to Zappa's 1969 magnum opus, Hot Rats. We've got some commercial sorts of songs early on, but on the whole, this is complicated (and very weird; at least, more so than usual) music from Frank, and so it's certainly worth looking into if that's your favorite side of the man. However, without Act I, this album is fairly weak and incomplete. Not only is the story unfinished, but the musical styles present in the first release add so much build up and cleverness to the music in Acts II & III.

Again, I'm going to borrow my words from my review of the compilation, to save you time:

Act II begins with A Token of My Extreme, where Joe is visiting the Church of Appliantology. The second act features slightly longer songs, a few more progressive bits, and more jamming. Also, Act II features the most explicit lyrics on the whole shebang, possibly in Zappa history. The strongest track here is Keep It Greasey, a rather unpleasantly-lyricked track with absolutely inhuman bass. Plus, we get a particularly long guitar solo over some strange time signature that I can't count out because I'm not good at math. Act II, I think, on the whole, is the weakest of the three.

The last act is only four songs, but here Frank stretches the songs out, building massive jams for the first three. Packard Goose features a wonderful, twisting guitar solo for a good portion of its length--the song is streamable from this site. Watermelon in Easter Hay is my personal favorite, featuring a lovely clean solo played in 9/4 time or something. I think. Did I mention that I'm not good at math? Anyways, the final song, A Little Green Rosetta, is a rather random concluding band jam with a lot of folks singing the title over and over again. It's fun, and I suppose Frank couldn't have ended the album in any better of a way.

A good album, but denied its possibly deserved fourth star on account of you should buy the compilation of all three acts. It's the only way to properly listen to and enjoy this release.

LiquidEternity | 3/5 |


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